Foundation fund

Rapid7 to fund the underrepresented and underserved in cybersecurity with a new private foundation

security provider Quick7 created a private, nonprofit foundation to provide grants to organizations involved in science and technology education for careers in cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, volunteerism, research, and policy advocacy.

The endowed foundation, which aims to facilitate access to cybersecurity for underrepresented and underserved people, received its first $1 million from Rapid7. The fund began awarding in January and awarded its first grant to the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) for $50,000 to support the organization’s Ransomware Task Force.

Going forward, the Rapid7 Cybersecurity Foundation will invest in organizations in the following areas, officials said:

  • STEM education, diversity and inclusion in technology, and organizations’ efforts to make careers in cybersecurity easier for everyone.
  • Open source and volunteer tools to help bring effective cybersecurity solutions to underfunded organizations, including nonprofits and municipalities.
  • Research and policy advocacy to strengthen the cybersecurity of vulnerable communities, improve cybersecurity awareness, and make achieving effective security outcomes more accessible to all.

Peter Kaes, previously Rapid7’s chief legal officer, will serve as the foundation’s first executive director and will also lead the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.

“The Foundation’s mission is to democratize cybersecurity by focusing on access for the underrepresented and underserved,” Kaes said in a statement. blog post. “We do this by promoting a diverse and inclusive cybersecurity workforce, supporting free and open security solutions, and championing those who often have no voice in advancing security.”

Following the IST grant, the foundation expects its future awards to support organizations where Rapid7 already knows the needs of the community. The company said it plans to announce these grants in the coming weeks. As a general rule, the foundation will not make grants outside of its funding priorities and will not accept unsolicited funding requests.

Rapid7 has a history of making socially conscious investments, having allocated “millions of dollars” to organizations that support the advancement of cybersecurity for underrepresented and underserved individuals and underfunded entities, Kaes said. . He highlighted the creation in 2020 of a donor-advised fund with the Tides Foundation and donations totaling some $300,000 to numerous organizations from the fund.

Later this week, the foundation will release its first Social Good Report, which “highlights our broader work for social good,” Kaes said.

Universal cybersecurity training

Many technology companies and associations have taken steps to help bridge the cybersecurity gap. For example, Microsoft expanded its cybersecurity skills program to 23 additional countries in March 2022. Around the same time, MSPAlliance in partnership with Boise State University and Stellar Cyber to create MSP-specific business, technical, and cybersecurity training and placement tools.